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Legatus Magazine

Cover Story
Matthew A. Rarey | author
Oct 01, 2010
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Pittsburgh chapter charters

Bishop David Zubik had a big role in reforming Legatus’ Pittsburgh Chapter . . .

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On a date not deliberately chosen but regarded as providential by the participants, 47 Legates were invested as charter members of the recently re-formed Pittsburgh Chapter on Sept. 8, the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Like Mary, they also answered “Fiat!” to this call of God.

“What a thrill it is to be in the company of all of you who heed so fully the call to take the Good News of the Gospel to the workplace,” Pittsburgh Bishop David Zubik said in his homily at the chartering Mass.

“What better model have we than that teenage girl who, in the midst of minding her own business, was given a new business by the Father to be the mother of the Savior?” he said. “If she could by her ‘Yes’  bring Christ into the world, imagine what will happen when we allow Christ to come to the world once again through our own hearts.”

Before the induction ceremony, chapter chaplain Fr. Joseph M. Mele related to his boss the worthiness of the members. It wasn’t a hard sell for the bishop, who not only served as chaplain of the Pittsburgh chapter’s first incarnation 20 years ago, but actively supported its return. He celebrated a special Mass in the cathedral last October for prospective members, who afterward listened to the Legatus story at an open house.

“Today these Catholic business leaders are searching for a way to give back to this beautiful city and diocese what they have been blessed to receive,” said Fr. Mele.

At the dinner afterward, Legatus founder and chairman Thomas S. Monaghan praised members for their commitment to renewing Legatus’ mission in western Pennsylvania.

“I can remember the meeting just after we got Legatus started. They were starting two chapters simultaneously: one in Michigan and one in Pittsburgh. The one in Pittsburgh didn’t last as long as the one in Michigan did,” he said, attributing its foundering to growing pains, exacerbated by the sudden death of the chapter’s president, its prime mover.

“But as I say, love is better the second time around,” he said to hearty laughter. “The purpose of Legatus is to get together some of the most proven leaders in the Church — a rare group of people who know how to get things done: CEOs. And when you get a lot of people together with so much in common, a certain magic happens.”

pittsburgmug2That sense of magic and mission is shared by the charter members. Chapter president Richard DeClaudio said Legatus gives him and his wife Carole “a genuine opportunity to pray and worship with other Catholic business leaders, as well as hear from and learn about how to best live God’s will for our lives in all that we do.”

Membership chair Regina Stover agreed. “Being Legatus members allows my husband, Dennis, and me to meet and become friends with other business professionals and their spouses who share our faith mission and values,” she said. The Stovers said they are looking forward to mentoring younger members and recruiting new ones. They already have brought two on board and expect more to follow.

Indeed, hopeful expectation is a virtue in big supply at the new chapter.

“Already 10 of my friends have joined,” related Chris McMahon, chapter vice president. “I don’t know where we’ll evolve to, but over time we could easily get to over 100 couples.”

He said the spiritual support Legatus offers is a key selling point for prospective members. In particular, he noted the “extraordinary quality” of the chapter’s monthly speakers, which helps reconfirm him in the faith. He notes the talk given by Legate and former Swiss Guard Andreas Widmer.

“Here was a very successful entrepreneur, but nobody was interested so much in the money aspect of his story, but that of his service to the Holy Father,” McMahon explained. “I used to run my office on adrenaline and fear, so having that Christian perspective — that higher perspective — is really important to me.”

Matthew A. Rarey is Legatus Magazine’s editorial assistant.

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